Can You Eat Chocolate While Pregnant

Who would want to part with their favorite Hershey bars! A survey even mentioned that mothers who ate chocolate every day when expecting gave birth to happier and cheerful babies. However, your habit of binging on chocolate chips, cookies or candies might have to be limited at this time, keeping in mind your baby’s wellbeing.

Can You Eat Chocolate While Pregnant

Is craving for chocolate a sign of pregnancy

Although food cravings or aversions are common in pregnancy, having a sudden urge to eat chocolates does not really mean that you have conceived.

According to some old wives tales, craving for chocolates is associated with gender prediction myth and might indicate a girl-in-waiting.

Is it safe to have chocolate when pregnant

Chocolate during pregnancy is considered safe when eaten in moderation, say about 3 to 4 pieces in a day. Having a lot of it may add on to your carbs leading to excessive weight gain since they are high in calories. It could also give you a feeling of fullness, lessening your urge to eat other nutritious food [1].

How much chocolate is safe when pregnant

According to “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists”, pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day [1]. Here is a chart to give you an idea of how much caffeine your favorite chocolaty foods have:

Caffeine in Chocolates
Brand Serving Caffeine content
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar [11] 1.5 oz 9 mg
Dagoba New Moon 74% Dark Chocolate [11] 1.5 oz 34 mg
Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar [12] 1 oz 15 mg
Scharffen Berger 82% Extra Dark Chocolate Bar [11] 1.5 oz 42 mg
Other Chocolate based foods
Starbucks hot chocolate [9] 8 oz 15 mg
Mocha [10] 12 oz 152 mg
Mousse [7] 3.2 oz 15 mg

If you are having coffee or other caffeinated foods, ensure to cut down on chocolate bars and drinking hot hot chocolates so that you stay under your limit [1].

FAQs

1) Does chocolate reduce risks of preeclampsia

A study found out that women who ate increased amount of chocolates in their first and third trimester were at a reduced risk of preeclampsia and a reduced risk of high blood pressure in the first three months. However, there is a lack of firm evidence for this and more research is warranted [3, 8].

2) Can chocolates cause heartburn?

Chocolates are known to be a trigger food for heartburn in some people which may upset your stomach if not eaten in moderation. Eating chocolates on an empty stomach should be avoided [5, 6].

3) Does dark chocolate help in fetal growth?

Dark chocolates are high in flavonoids as well as minerals like zinc, potassium, iron, and selenium [4]. There are some inconclusive studies with insufficient data which shows positive effects of chocolates, both high and low in flavanol, in fostering fetal growth. [2]

When to avoid chocolates during pregnancy

If you have gestational diabetes or trouble managing your weight, then you should avoid chocolates completely [1].

References:

  1. https://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-eat-a-lot-of-chocolate-during-pregnancy_1245156.bc
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306103.php
  3. https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/is-it-safe/16-pregnancy-myths/
  4. https://www.hif.com.au/blog/maternity-care/eating-chocolate-during-pregnancy
  5. https://www.babycenter.com/0_heartburn-during-pregnancy-why-it-happens-and-how-to-get-rel_242.bc
  6. https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/stages/3rd-trimester-health/5-foods-that-cause-heartburn-during-pregnancy/
  7. http://www.drlisawatson.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Caffeine-Chart7.pdf
  8.  https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/chocolate-cuts-pregnancy-risk-claim/  
  9.   https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/does-hot-chocolate-have-caffeine
  10.  https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-content/cafe-mocha
  11. https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-content/dark-chocolate
  12. http://www.familydoctor.co.nz/categories/medication/caffeine-a-patients-guide/
Akshit
 

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